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Research shows that consumers are shopping earlier than ever for the holidays (no more waiting around until Black Friday!). In 2021, many people started in the summer – and that turned out to be the biggest holiday shopping season ever. So, if you’re a small business owner, it’s critical that you start thinking about the holiday season earlier than you ever have. From stocking inventory to planning sales, here are 7 things you can do right now to get your business ready for the holiday season.
- Take inventory.
- Get shoppers excited for the season with holiday packaging.
- Stay top of mind.
- Put your best holiday foot forward.
- Design seasonal signage.
- Get your website ready.
- Step up your Pinterest strategy.
1. Take inventory.
Supply chain issues are still prevalent…so the earlier you can take inventory, the better. Look at sales from past years to determine which product categories were top sellers, and make sure your inventory is stocked and ready to go. And beyond product inventory, take stock of your staffing, too. Maybe you’re going to extend your hours during the holiday season, or stay open 7 days a week – make sure you have the staff support you need to succeed.
2. Get shoppers excited for the season with holiday packaging.
Show shoppers that you’re in holiday mode by surprising them with festive packaging. Whether it’s a Christmas-y postcard tucked into their shopping bag or red and green tissue paper in their mailer, let customers know that you’re gearing up for the season.
3. Stay top of mind.
Shoppers might pop into your store, or browse your online offerings, without making a purchase…just to get a feel for what you sell. Follow up with them as the holidays grow closer, maybe with a personalized email or promotional postcard.
4. Put your best holiday foot forward.
Make it known that your small business is a holiday shopping destination…the earlier, the better. Consider curating gift guides in your online shop that make it easy for customers to find the perfect present, offering a personalized shopping service, or providing complimentary gift wrapping. These gestures can go a long way in elevating the customer experience, and can keep shoppers coming back all season long (and beyond!).
5. Design seasonal signage.
Plan out all of the seasonal signage you’ll need this year -including any holiday promotions or events you’re anticipating. Find a template you love, customize it with your logo and brand colors and order it now…so you’ll be all set when it’s time to decorate your storefront in November.
If you don’t have a brick-and-mortar, go digital when it comes to signage. Create a holiday-ready banner for your website’s homepage, or update your social media profile icons to something with a festive feel.
6. Get your website ready.
More people are shopping online than ever -so if you have an online store, make sure everything is running smoothly before the holiday shopping boom hits. Have some friends and family members try out your online shopping experience so you can troubleshoot if necessary, and ask them for overall feedback on their user experience. Beyond the ecommerce element, look for other areas of your site to make improvements. Consider optimizing your local SEO strategy, updating shipping information and store hours, and refreshing your FAQ page.
7. Step up your Pinterest strategy.
Pinterest is the most popular platform consumers use to get inspired -and 1 in 5 holiday shoppers say that Pinterest content influenced at least half of their holiday purchases in 2021.So, this holiday season, make it a goal to spend more time on Pinterest. People start using Pinterest to get holiday shopping ideas as early as July, so it’s the perfect place to start if you want to get a head start on the season. Create boards that act as gift guides and showcase a variety of your products, and engage with the community by re-pinning content that speaks to your brand.